The Boundaries of Desire: A Century of Good Sex, Bad Laws, and Changing Identities
The United States has always been bipolar about sexuality. Whether it’s the Madonna/whore complex foisted upon women or men “owning” women through marriage, the horrors that accompany reporting and prosecuting a rape or the question marks that lurk within our legal system today, there are so many facets of sexuality and legality that deserve a deeper, more thoughtful look.
The Boundaries of Desire undertakes an impossible task — studying the inconsistencies in sexual and marital laws over the last hundred years — and trying to make sense of it all. And Berkowitz is damned convincing in his arguments, both in terms of detail and analysis.
I won’t lie to you. This is a book filled with infuriating unfairness and outright horrors. Eugenics, homophobia, rape, misogyny, child abuse… all of these troubling subjects and more are covered here. But don’t turn away. The only way to prevent repeating the mistakes of the past is to take a hard look at them.
At a time when women’s rights continue to be under siege by conservative politicians, it’s worth your time to take a look back and see not only how far we’ve come, but how far we still have yet to go.